Monday, December 15, 2008

Perspective and Spilled Milk

Another blogger recently posted something that went straight to my heart. The other day she was pouring something into a glass and she spilled a little onto the counter. Her four-year-old observed this and commented, "Mom, sometimes you spill, and I don't get mad at you."

I don't consider myself a scrupulously neat person, but nothing pushes my freak-out button like seeing my toddler spill something. I gasp, I shriek, and I grit my teeth as if the spill was a personal insult to me rather than a mere step in the process of my toddler developing motor skills and learning cause-and-effect (e.g. tilt glass beyond angle x = spill y quantity of milk onto carpet). I'm trying to accept that spills are just part of growing up, not earth-shattering calamities. And I'm trying to remember that sometimes I spill things, too.

For heaven sakes, if I ever hosted a cooking show it would be billed as a comedy.

Death-defying Quote

"I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so." --Stephen Leacock

This just made me laugh. Thought I'd share.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rejecting Spongy Tradition

My daughter turns two this month, and I decided to have a little birthday party with her play group buddies and their moms today. The occasion led to some deep reflection on the subject of . . . cupcakes.

I'm generally not a big fan of cake. I prefer desserts with more substance like a fruity pie, some cheesecake, or a cookie bar I can sink my teeth into. So why on earth did I feel obligated to make cupcakes for my toddler's party when she and her pals will neither expect nor remember them? I suspect it was because I think my fellow moms expect cupcakes to grace a birthday party, but realistically they don't want to eat them any more than I do. I split the recipe between mini- and full-sized muffin pans, and at the end of the party the minis were nearly gone and all the full-size cupcakes were still sitting patiently on their plate. Apparently even the grown-ups prefer a small bite of sugary sponge over a fist-sized mass of it.

Lesson learned: In a couple years when Munchkin #2 turns two, I'll just make a small batch of mini cupcakes, and a double batch of Mom's Salsa, which we ran out of way too quickly. Better yet, maybe I'll forgo the cupcakes in favor of brownies and just stick a birthday candle into one of them. THERE you go . . .

Friday, December 5, 2008

Padawans Rock

My company (I worked there before Joy arrived, and still telecommute a little from home each weekday) held its annual Christmas party at Disneyland this year. We enjoyed good food and a magic show at one of the hotels, then we headed over to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day. Alas, they don't let pregnant gals ride Star Tours or Thunder Mountain, but Phillip and I still enjoyed riding some of the lower-key attractions.

My favorite Disneyland experience was actually not a ride, though. I loved watching the Jedi Training show, where kids get to learn basic light saber fighting moves, then face off against Darth Vader himself. I’m sure this would be a dream come true for many kids, and it was fun to see some of them really get into it.

Each "Padawan" got to wear a robe and wield a light saber in the show. This girl decided to accessorize with a crown, and the Jedi instructor deferentially called her "Princess."

One of the boys in the group showed particular enthusiasm and skill at following instructions. After he bested Darth Vader in hand-to-hand combat two menacing storm troopers suddenly closed in on him, and the Jedi instructor urged him to stretch out his hands and use the force to drive them back. Without hesitation, boy shot his hands forward and those storm troopers went reeling. It was awesome to watch, and I bet that young Padawan will remember the experience for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Buzz Saw Meditation

A while back, I read about a blogger who takes the frustration out of bad situations by viewing them as opportunities to meditate. If she's exasperated with a slow grocery line, she labels the wait "grocery line meditation." Stuck in traffic? "Freeway meditation." The simple addition of the word "meditation" makes her feel serene and wise, rather than trapped and exasperated.

Today a neighbor decided it was a perfect afternoon to run his loud table saw, over and over again, right in the middle of my toddler's nap. It actually didn't disturb her much, but the first dozen times he turned the thing on I gritted my teeth and fought the urge to open the window and say some rather unneighborly things to him. Remembering the "meditation" trick I'd read, I started mentally referring to the odious noise as an opportunity for "buzz saw meditation." It really did make me feel better, possibly because humor dispels tension.